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Rosie Matheson exhibits her Boys project and new documentary this month

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Design-museum-hope-to-nope-exhibition_illustration-jon-berkeley_cover-design-graeme-james_the-economist-cover-debasing-american-politics_itsnicethat Media Partnership / Graphic Design Hope to Nope: exploring the "pivotal" past decade of graphic design and politics

Contrary to its distinctly present-day focus, the Design Museum’s latest exhibition, Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-18, started off as a historical retrospective. Curator Margaret Cubbage and designer of the show, GraphicDesign&’s Lucienne Roberts, discussed beginning in the 50s and 60s, but then Brexit happened. Then Trump. And what was immediately evident was the seismic creative response to global crises. “We suddenly felt there was an urgency to respond to this,” Margaret tells It’s Nice That. “How pivotal graphic design had become to political movements, and how diverse and rich and democratic it was.”

21-vdm-nightfever-%e2%88%8f-courtesyofbenkelly_list Work / Exhibition A Vitra Design Museum exhibition shows the hedonistic history of nightclub design

As many middle-aged men will tell you at length, clubbing ain’t what it used to be. Looking through the exhibits from new show Night Fever: Designing Club Culture, which is due to open at the Vitra Design Museum near Basel later this month, it seems (much as it pains us to say it) that they might have a point. Are you, for example, dancing in clubs under storeys-high Keith Haring murals or dipping in a Philippe Starck-designed pool or receiving party invites in mousetraps complete with a slice of cheese? No, us neither. And if you are, sort us a slot on the guest list alright?

Enlarge-your-memories-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Jamie Allan Shaw offers an alternative to the one-sided relationship between creatives and magazines

“A lot of my friends and colleagues who work in the fashion and photography industry have always felt at the mercy of the larger magazines, it’s a strained and one-sided relationship which frequently lets down the people who work hard (and spend their own money) to make their content,” states designer and publisher Jamie Allan Shaw. In response to the numerous stories of editorials being cut short in favour of a celebrity photographer or an endorsement, Jamie decided to offer an alternative in the form of Enlarge Your Memories.

Matterlurgy-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Exhibition Exhibition Silver Sehnsucht unlocks nostalgia's past, present and future

“Sometimes you can be nostalgic for what is yet to come. A strange feeling of longing for a future yet unknown," or so argue London-based curator trio Mara-Johanna Kolmel, Silvana Lagos and Rafael Schacter from the collective Approved by Pablo. That feeling is encapsulated neatly in the German word ‘sehnsucht’, a word which lacks clear definition in English but was termed by C. S. Lewis as “That unnameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead, the title of The Well at the World’s End, the opening lines of Kubla Khan, the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves.”

Its-nice-that-caitlin-mccarthy_list Work / Animation Meet Caitlin McCarthy and her cute (and sometimes gross) animations

Throughout Caitlin McCarthy’s creative career she has jumped between disciplines, analogue tools and digital programmes. Studying illustration at Camberwell, “which I chose because I loved drawing,” Caitlin then “somehow finished up my degree trying to be a fine artist, making giant silicone ham slices” she tells It’s Nice That. Immediately after graduation, literally just a few days, she went back to drawing and was an illustrator. Now… Caitlin’s an animator!

Moon-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication From magazine worshipper to publisher: a chat with Moon’s founder Verity Pemberton

When Verity Pemberton, the founding editor of Moon magazine, was a teenager, her bedroom walls had a similar wallpaper to many other magazine makers. They were repeatedly pasted with ripped out centrefolds. “My brother used to write to i-D and The Face so I was looking at all those magazines from a young age,” she tells us. “I think when you pick up the right kind of magazine it can really speak to you — with Moon I just wanted to be able to make my creative ideas into a reality and also be able to share the people I find inspiring.”

Ucl-gd-int-list Work / Graphic Design Plexopolis: a series of games to educate and inform students on accomplished design

Uniform, an independent creative agency based in Liverpool and London, has designed a series of board games to help students solve urban planning problems. A project brought to the agency by the mathematics department of University College London (UCL), Uniform has combined intelligent design and practical materials to create Plexopolis.

List Work / Art Cleon Peterson's new exhibition Blood & Soil attacks American politics head on

Cleon Peterson’s powerful paintings challenge modern-day anxieties; directly criticising global and national politics. Blood & Soil, a title taken directly from a Nazi slogan, opens this Saturday at Over the Influence, LA. Moving from expressive nudes to figures in uniform, this exhibition observes Cleon attacking America’s here and now. Drawing from classical art forms, with his figures reminiscent of those created by the Greeks, the artist highlights how history never seems to progress — justice remains an unreachable ideal, law and order remains violent and corrupt. Concerned that we are slipping into a new form of fascism, Cleon has decided to speak up instead of remain silent. With their bold, uniform blocks of red, white and black, these threatening, ferocious paintings speak volumes.

Irma-boom-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Irma Boom’s new Viktor&Rolf tome for Phaidon “defies codes of bookness”

A perfect bundle of hot pink acetate, stacks of inverted fashion photography and different weights of paper stock, calling the new Phaidon title dedicated to theatrical Dutch fashion designers Viktor&Rolf a book seems something of a stretch. Designed by Irma Boom – the experimental publication specialist sometimes dubbed the “queen of books” – the tome called Cover Cover has been made from eight-page gatefolds, each of which represent a different Viktor&Rolf collection. Using different thicknesses of paper, the spreads have been layered on top of each other and hand-sewn with matching hot pink thread.

Jim-stoten Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: Jim Stoten's soundtrack to his solo summer holiday

Happy Friday and happy Friday Mixtape day! As London swelters in a rare heatwave, Jim Stoten, also known by his job title leading name Jim the Illustrator, is off on a solo holiday to Spain. As Jim packs his swimming trunks, suncream and drawing equipment for a week of pondering, he’s also made us a mix that will soundtrack his summer holiday and maybe yours too.

Weapons_of_reason-food-int-02 Work / Publication Weapons of Reason's food issue is designed to inform, not preach, on systems that breed inequality

Weapons of Reason is a publishing project by design agency, Human After All. Edited by James Cartwright, each edition focuses on a particular issue – including power, megacities and the Arctic – and for the most recent edition, the focus is on food. The magazine tackles a variety of questions around our relationship to food, its production, and the corporations who control it. Here, It’s Nice That speaks to James about taking risks, trying to create change and how editing Weapons of Reason has impacted his own choices.

Hugh-kinsells-cunningham-photography-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Photography Hugh Kinsella Cunningham's photographs show the power and resilience of the Congo's Church

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country whose Catholic Church is incredibly powerful, with unprecedented national reach compared to other organisations. It’s also a country in political turmoil, with President Joseph Kaliba refusing to stand down. In response to the country’s corrupt and violent government, the Church’s Priests have become symbols of peaceful protest, attempting to lead their people towards an untroubled transition of power.

Noon-list Work / Publication For Noon, joy lies in the quality and uniqueness of the final product

Since its conception Noon “has always set out to consider what it means to be alive today”, Jasmine Raznahan, founder and editor, tells It’s Nice That. The SS18 issue is based around joy; they asked collaborators who “they felt aligned conceptually with the concept” to respond to the theme via a series of different lenses: “purity, repose, intimacy, love, shame and details”. These abstract sub-headings are representative of the thoughtful style we typically associate with Noon; a magazine that succeeds in bringing together its contributors in a harmonious, critical whole. “Each of the lenses became a story”, Jasmine explains, “and each of the stories became one of sixteen parts that all explored a common theme”. The sections are threaded together beautifully, gathered in unison by text and image.

Antonedolezal-photography-itsnicethat-1 Features / Photography Antone Dolezal reimagines the narratives we construct to find meaning in life

The 21st century is often described as a secular age. Faith and superstition have, in many parts of the world, been replaced by science and reason. The traditional belief systems have been succeeded by a firm devotion to the technological advancements of Silicon Valley. Photographer Antone Dolezal is challenging this assumption. When television-viewers across America were following the disheartening 2016 elections, Antone travelled — and continues to travel — across the country’s Southwestern states to capture the spiritual communities of California and Nevada for his series, Part of Fortune and Part of Spirit.

Guang-yu-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Guang Yu on how everyday observations informs his design practice

A Black Cover Design is a creative studio based in Beijing, China, founded by Guang Yu and Nod Young in 2015. Guang and Nod’s award-winning practice works across branding, strategy and print design; most often with cultural institutions, universities, and art and design festivals. Recent work includes the identity for Shanghai’s first art book fair, Unfold; a poster campaign for AGI China; and printed matter and merchandise for Tokyo TDC Selected Artworks. We spoke to Guang about inspirations, problem-solving and why “suitable” is best.

Ab-dlc-list Work / Publication Atelier Bingo’s new storybook features "pure, expressive images" inspired by nature

Atelier Bingo, comprised of Maxime Prou and Adèle Favreau, has illustrated a new children’s storybook for publishing house, Amaterra. Using its signature cut-out style, Atelier Bingo’s images are colourful, expressive and have stolen our imagination. “The book is about the sky from the height of a child”, the studio explains, “we show what they see — the sun, the stars, bees buzzing around flowers, the steam drawings planes make”.

Frieze-list Work / Art Frieze Sculpture 2018 proves the power of art in the public realm

The UK is experiencing a heatwave, and what better way to experience this warm, balmy weather than spending an evening wandering through one of London’s parks. Yesterday afternoon, It’s Nice That ventured down to Regent’s Park for the reception of Frieze Sculpture. With the summer’s heat lifting the scent of flowers into the surrounding air, and with members of the public already mingling amongst the works of art; it was instantly apparent the uplifting effect sculpture could have on a person.

List-image-locker-room Work / Art Locker room talk: Gray Wielebinski on appropriating the visual, spoken and body language of baseball

For their graduating exhibition at the Slade School of Fine Art, Gray Wielebinski turned the iconography and perception of baseball on its head, in an installation that creates what they describe as “a dream-like queer locker room setting”. A Dog Pees on Things for More than One Reason appropriates the visual codes of the sport to explore themes of “national identity – specifically in the USA, and Americana – desire, myth-making, sports, memory and childhood, fashion and masculinity”; and Gray describes the intention behind the work as being “to blur the lines between reality, memory, projection, hope and mainstream media representations, and to reconsider the framework for how the locker room occupies our cultural imaginations.”

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